In the contemporary workplace, inclusion and diversity is an ever-present topic. The motivation behind encouraging an equitable work environment is not only to be ‘fair’, which is a just cause in and of itself, but to generate and foster an open minded, diversified culture which results in better decision making and better results for your businesses.
It simply makes good business sense, having a more diversified workforce leads to a more interesting and personally enriching environment for everyone, both employees and customers.
As a staffing company we are increasingly hearing from our clients that they are looking to diversify the environments in which they work and we are doing our part in that process.
An inclusive and diversified business fosters independent thought, protects against group think and other biases which can cause businesses and institutions to make sub-optimal decisions that may result in systematic financial collapse.
There are many ways to promote diversity in the workplace, read on to find 3 simple steps that individuals can adopt to become an advocate for inclusion.
Increase your Cultural Competency
Increasing your cultural competency is the responsibility of every individual within an organisation that wishes to have a global outlook. Cross-cultural communication and understanding how people from different backgrounds work is an invaluable skillset in the modern work space. Now more than ever you are likely to be communicating with professionals across different cultures. The ability to interpret a variety of world views and knowing how to communicate and collaborate effectively is a prized competency in all modern organisations.
Embrace and Value
Create an environment where a variety of perspectives are embraced and valued. Everyone should seek out new perspectives and ideas. These only add to the outcome of a decision making process and lead to more informed judgements. Individuals from different cultures may take different approaches to solving problems which can often lead to innovative solutions to issues that may have gone unnoticed.
Contribute your own cultural diversity to your organisation. No one should underestimate the uniqueness and value of their life experiences and world view. Diversity takes many forms. Don’t undermine the contribution you can make to your businesses diversity and inclusion whether it is through your background, unique perspective, culture, gender or religion. Simply put, the best way to promote diversity and inclusion in your workplace is by embracing yourself and fostering an openness to others in the organisation.
On an organisational level it is important for business leaders to set diversity goals which are aligned to the strategic vision and objectives of the company. In a Harvard Business Review article Candice Morgan, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Pinterest, emphasises that setting diversity goals isn’t enough. The organisation needs repeated explanations of why they matter. Hiring managers need to understand how diversity advances a business’s goals of building a global, world class company.
In summary, to be diverse and inclusive is not an end in itself. It is a means to generate better business outcomes and create an environment where employees feel enriched and more fulfilled in their work lives. Diversity should be an outcome of your efforts to maximise your company’s performance, not a quota you need to impose. Although setting goals and targets is an important tool. Read more here.